Sunday, December 25, 2011

Commentary: Monthly Shonen Ace

(All rights reserved by their owners. Images used here for review purposes only.)

Monthly Shonen Ace is another one of those monster-sized phonebook magazines aimed at the audience of Afternoon, with a 974+ page count, and a 690 yen price tag.

Ace is targeted at older teenagers and college students, with genres that include SF, fantasy, sword and sorcery, school life and girls with guns. The artwork on the whole is above average, and there are quite a few popular titles and artists, including:

(Steins Gate)

Sora no Otoshimono - The TV anime aired last year.
Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu
Code Geass: Renya of Darkness
Keroro Gunso
Steins Gate
Deadman Wonderland
Baka and Test
Neon Genesis Evangelion
Fate / Stay Night
Guyver the Bioboosted Armor

(Hitsugi no Chiaka)

Promising titles include:

Hitsugi no Chiaka - Sword and sorcery adventure following a young fighter. Chapter 2 runs in this issue.
Shinai Mijikashi Koiseyo Otome - Combat maids and Dansou shinobi
Tokyo ESP - Silly story, great artwork
Tokyo Ravens - ESPer fights
Tower of Aion - Manga based on the MMORPG
Bibliotheca Mystica de Dantalian - Post-WWI mystic power hunter mysteries

(Debi Maji)

Of the entire magazine, I think the only title I have any interest in at all is Deadman Wonderland, which has great artwork, action-packed fight scenes and good-looking characters. My main complaint with DW is that the story got weird in the middle and hard to follow. I had been reading the scanilations of Baka and Test, because the basic premise caught my eye, but there haven't been any new translated chapters out in a while.

("Mio and boar", from the Nichijou series.)

As for freebies... There are no foldout posters in this issue, but there is the one piece-it-together-yourself figure from Nichijou shown on the cover. It's very well-made. It's also part of a planned 3-figure set, with the third figure coming out next month. I bought this issue mainly because the figure looks moderately festive and I wanted something to put on the seat of the papercraft sleigh I'd made for Christmas.


Summary: Lots of girls with guns, knives and scary mystic powers. Good artwork on the whole, and many well-known titles. I got this issue primarily for the freebie, but I'm glad that it gave me the chance to read the latest Baka and Test chapter. Recommended.

A warning - while there's no overt sex in this issue, there is some female nudity. If this offends you, then don't read this magazine.

Dates for this week:
Birthdays (10):
Steve (comedian) Allen, 12/26/1921
Charles Babbage, 12/26/1791
Alan King, 12/26/1927
Stan Lee, 12/28/1922
Nichelle (Lieutenant Uhura) Nichols, 12/28/1932
John von Neumann, 12/28/1903
Davy Jones, 12/30/1945
Rudyard Kipling, 12/30/1865
Micheal Nesmith, 12/30/1942
Roderic (Pope Alexander VI) Borja, 1/1/1431

Died (7):
Jack Benny, 12/26/1974
Ambrose Bierce, 12/26/1913
John D. ("Travis McGee") MacDonald, 12/28/1986
Robert (Boyle's Law) Boyle, 12/31/1691
Randall ("Lord Darcy") Garrett, 12/31/1987
Victor Bouno, 1/1/1982
Jack. C Haldeman II, 1/1/2002

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